As the Los Angeles Rams began celebrating underneath the shower of confetti raining down inside SoFi Stadium, and as the San Francisco 49ers walked off in disappointment following their 20-17 defeat on Sunday, January 30, one 49er stayed behind.
Deebo Samuel, in dejection, placed a towel over his head and sat alone on the 49ers’ bench. But the standout wide receiver and running back — who had saved the 49ers with his explosive versatility and selfless play since Week 18 in the exact same building — could clearly hear the celebration all around him. His head was low, the towel covered everything above his shoulders and he sat by his lonesome…
Until a surprise gravitated toward him and the opposite sideline.
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Odell Beckham, celebrating his first-ever trip to the Super Bowl in his nine-year NFL career, walked over to the dejected 49ers All-Pro. Then this poignant moment was captured:
But what exactly did the Rams’ wideout say to Samuel?
Samuel Explains the Moment
So what were the words OBJ placed inside Samuel’s ear?
“To be honest with you, I don’t even remember,” Samuel told reporters following the loss. “I was so upset and kind of really wasn’t paying attention.”
But, he implies “I’ll chop it up with him later on.”
The two men put on quite a show in a city renown for entertainment, from movies to sports. Samuel went on to total 124 total yards running, receiving and returning. And, as he’s done countless of times, Samuel provided some fireworks through his hands and speed:
But on Beckham’s side, he left the “Rams House” fulfilling redemption. Not only did Beckham endure a career full of controversy in previous stops with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns, but entered his home venue having this stat line in the past two 49er defeats: Two catches, 18 yards in both losses.
But his final stats in the NFC championship game? Nine grabs, 113 yards in his first-ever 100-yard game as a Ram. While Beckham didn’t cross the goal line, he did keep key drives alive for the Rams, including on this catch:
Others React Online to OBJ/Samuel Moment
While there were fans who took their celebrations online after the NFC title game and others who vented their frustration through a keyboard, there were numerous national reactions toward the moment OBJ and Samuel had.
The NBC Sunday Night Football Twitter account posted “respect” above the photo:
Cam Gaskins of ABC Columbia in Samuel’s home state of South Carolina called it “a really cool moment.”
Chuck Modi of Deadspin not only called Beckham’s gesture a “beautiful moment,” but fired off this question to the OBJ detractors:
“Beautiful moment of Odell Beckham consoling distraught Deebo Samuel. Remind me how he’s selfish again?” Modi asked.
Now, how long will be before Samuel responds to his first career NFC title game loss with the 49ers?
“I don’t know how long it’s going to take everybody (to get over this loss), but it’s going to take me a little while,” Samuel admitted. “We’ve got to get over it. We can’t take nothing back and just get ready for next year.”